I own nothing, that includes "They Bring Me to You".

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Clearly, They Bring Me to You is the title of the story and I wanted to end with it. The song is amazing, I know I've swooned over Joshua Radin before and I'll do it again. Listen to the song . . . any way you can, listen to the song. I suggest youtube if you don't wanna download it, but after you hear it you might LOL.

moodysuburbanteenagelovesong – thanks for trusting my musical choices so much; I understand how the Pink song may have thrown you off, but when I heard it I fell in love. And naturally I'm recommending this song as well.

Katie – thanks for the help with this chapter. I'm sure listening to my rambles isn't always a treasure haha. Hopefully this chapter doesn't disappoint.

There's a longer note at the bottom.

Alright guys here it is . . . the last one! Enjoy!


You looked like the sun
I was the only one
Who could stare until you were done shining on me
And as we drank our wine and let the world fade away
The sunrise tried to end it while we tried to stay

"Yeah", he says with a hoarse voice. "I guess we do."

Peyton looks down and nods her head; she quickly wipes at the random tears. She goes to run her hand through her hair, but stops once she hits the hat. She groans and rips the small cap from her head. She looks over at Lucas and notices the smirk he wears.

It doesn't matter that they've fought merely hours ago. He wants nothing more then to take her into his arms and whisper away all the pain she's carrying. Isn't that what love is? Isn't that what a relationship is? Caring so much for the other person that you would rather take all their pain then have them feel an ounce of hurt?

"I'm gonna change first", she mumbles while her face turns a shad of red. Lucas nods and watches as she walks down the hall. The sounds of her heels still give him a comfort he never knew he wanted.

She walks into her bedroom and once the door closes she leans her forehead against it. So far she's been on an emotional rollercoaster and it's still not over. She wills herself not to cry and it almost works.

Almost.

The second she turns around they pour down her face. She doesn't even really know why she's still crying. Lucas doesn't look like he hates her. But looks can be deceiving. That thought sends a whole new wave of tears down her face.

She takes off her jacket and throws it onto the bed. She pulls the t-shirt over her head and pulls off his pajama pants. Her thigh highs and heels are next and she's left standing in the room in nothing, but her panties. She doesn't like this; feeling vulnerable. The only other times she's been so vulnerable have been around Lucas and more often then not those times ended in heartache.

Her mind goes to the night in junior year when she told him she wanted everything with him; Brooke walked into the room. The night she told him she was in love with him senior year; he said 'oh'. When she kissed him; he proposed to Lindsey. Then when she begged him not to marry Lindsey; he told her he was in love with the woman.

Tears burn her eyes once more and she groans in frustration. She's so tired of crying, but it's all she seems to do tonight. She pulls on a pair of sweatpants and looks through the closet for a sweatshirt; a gray one catches her eye. The second she pulls it off the hanger her heart aches. It smells just like him. First she throws on a tank top and then she pulls the sweatshirt over her head. It's baggy and so clearly the sweatshirt he used to wear in high school. She shakes her head and lets her untamed curls free themselves then she walks over to the flannel pants and folds them neatly.

Peyton opens her bedroom door and softly shuffles down to Lucas's room. She has every intention of simply placing the clothes onto his bed and walking out, but on her way back out to the hall she sees something. A piece of paper with her handwriting on it. She looks to the door before walking to his desk.

Her breath catches in her throat. She doesn't know where he got this from, but right now that doesn't matter to her. Normally she'd be angry and pout a little, but tonight isn't the time for that. She takes the letter with her and walks back to her room. She laces up her converse and grabs her car keys.

Lucas hears her scurry from room to room and by the time she's finally walking into the kitchen he's got everything done. He doesn't want to stay in this house any longer. It's painful and suffocating and they both need the fresh air to fill their lungs. He picks up both mugs and faces her.

He thought he heard her leave the house, but he wasn't too sure; her trademark converse let him know she did. Peyton's got a big box under her arm that he's seen once before and an opened letter that he read and sobbed over only an hour ago. His mouth goes dry and he tries to speak, but she stops him. She takes a deep breath and hopes she can keep her emotions in check.

"I saw this in your room and I don't care that you took it. It reminded me of these", she says as she places the box onto the table. "There are hundreds of letters in here", she runs her finger over the top. "Okay, Luke so before you make any decisions I want you to know that this is how I spent nearly everyday in LA", she whispers. "Talking to you", she says sadly.

He looks at Peyton and then his blue eyes trail to the large box. Peyton expects him to say something or to rummage through the letters, but he doesn't so that. Her words touch him in way that he can't really describe. Now he knows how she feels every time she reads on of his books; he needs to stop teasing her for the tear stained pages. His eyes cloud over and he has to clear his throat several times before whispering;

"Come somewhere with me."

Her eyes fill with confusion, but she doesn't question it aloud. Instead she nods her head and walks forward. Peyton takes the travel mug from his hand and attempts to keep moving, but something stops her. Lucas's hand. His larger hand clasps her smaller one and once he intertwines their fingers she lets out a breath.

He takes a deep breath; he just needs to feel her right now. She always gives him a calming feeling and this time is no different. His heart immediately slows and his blood stops rushing in his ears. He grabs his car keys and his jacket before opening his kitchen door.

That's how they leave the house; connected, but more broken then ever.

The rest of my life can't compare to this night, whoa oh
And only the heartaches have given me sight, oh, oh
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah

They drive in his vintage Mustang in silence. The one comfort either of them have is their intertwined hands that rest on Peyton's leg. She still isn't sure where they're going, but she doesn't want to ruin the stillness by speaking.

At first she has no idea where they're going, but once he pulls into the sandy parking lot she smiles. They walk out of the car and once again Lucas finds her hand. She clings to it for dear life; as if it's the last time she'll get to hold his hand. The walk through the sand and the smell of the ocean fills their senses. It's peaceful out here and she's glad that he wanted to get out of the house. They walk in silence to their spot.

The place where he found her that summer before senior year. It's the place where they made love the night before she left for LA in high school. It's the place that will ultimately be remembered for their reconciliation or their demise.

They both sit down and a chill immediately hits Peyton; she should have dressed warmer. It's nearly March, but there's still a cold breeze in the air. She can't believe it's almost March and she can't believe what a true whirlwind her life has been from November up until now.

As she shivers Lucas pulls her close and kisses the top of her head. He inhales her scent and rests his cheek atop her curls. She leans into him and even though the world truly does feel like it's falling down around them, she's never felt more secure. She opens her mouth to ask him something, but Lucas beats her to it.

"Do you hate me?" he mumbles into her curls. Her eyes widen and she tilts her head to look at him.

"No", it's impossible for her to think of hating him and her tone emphasizes that. "I was going to ask if you hated me", she says meekly.

"How – why would I hate you?" he asks with a laugh in his throat. The thought of him hating her is ridiculous to him.

"Because Luke, I – I ran", she says sadly. "You proposed and I ran away", she says with a shake of her head.

"No, I shouldn't have proposed", he whispers and takes her hand in his. "I mean I wanted to and I don't regret that, but I shouldn't have done it that way . . . not without us talking about things first", his voice is low and raw and she's sure she'll cry a few times before they leave this beach.

"I guess the whole point of coming out here was to talk, right?" he nods and she breathes in that wonderful salty smell once more. Without a second thought she climbs between his legs and he embraces her. His arms are around her shoulders and he reaches for her hands.

"I'm sorry about the whole Brooke thing", he whispers. She plays with his fingers and shakes her head.

"I'm not mad about that", he scoffs softly. "I mean I am – it seems like everyone wore my ring, but me", after she says that she closes her eyes. That was a bit of a dig. "But it's not the main issue here, Luke", she whispers and he nods. He knows what the main issue – issues – is.

"I'm sorry that I left you", he says solemnly. "I regret it everyday, Peyton."

"Why did you leave?" her eyes already burn and her voice shakes. Lucas squeezes her hand and takes a deep breath.

"I was hurt", he says honestly.

"I wasn't saying I didn't want you, Lucas. I wanted to be with you, forever, more then anything. We were just so young and we were still finding out who we were . . ."

"I know", he whispers when she trails off. "I know." He swallows hard and continues. "My pride clouded my judgment and as soon as that door closed behind me . . . I swear to you I wanted nothing more then to run back in their and hold you", silent tears are streaming down her cheeks. The occasional breeze causes her curls to stick to her face, but she doesn't try to move them.

"So why didn't you?" she asks desperately. He can hear the tears in her voice and it kills him. He holds her closer and rests his forehead against back of her head.

"Like I said . . . I was too hurt to accept any of the things my heart was telling me. After I left New York I went back to Nathan and Haley's and I was a dead inside. I picked up the phone so many times . . ." he whispers.

"I did too", she admits. "I had a breakdown at work and ran into the copy room. Some guy – Julian although I didn't know it at the time – tried hitting on me and after he left the room I cried some more before I dialed your number. I hung up before you answered."

They both sit and think about how differently things would have been if either of them had called or had bothered to stay on the phone long enough to hear the other persons voice.

"What about the book signing?" he asks quietly. She raises her eyes to the sky and takes a breath. "Why didn't you just stay?"

Because it's still considered winter the sun rises later then usual. By now it would be starting its way up, but now the sky is still painted in shade of purple and blue and the starts twinkle brightly. The stars give her a comfort. In LA on those rare nights, she would pinpoint a star and imagine that Lucas was looking at the same one. And for that second they were connected.

"I was already putting my heart out there by going to see you and when Lindsey kissed you . . . I felt my whole world fall apart; again", she mumbles.

"God", he murmurs against her neck and the warmth of his breath causes her to shiver; in response he holds her closer. "We weren't together then, Peyt. To me it was nothing more then a thank you kiss, but after you didn't come . . . I figured you'd given up on the idea of us, so we went to dinner that night", he tells her and she frowns.

She should have stayed.

"After that I ran into Julian and a few months later we were a couple. I tried to put all thoughts of you and Tree Hill out of my mind, but that didn't work. Every time I saw a copy of Ravens, I bought it", that last part he knows. He's got a scar near his eyebrow from where a hardcover copy nicked him.

She tries to push the curls from her face, but the wind continues to blow and her tears continue to spill out and her hair just won't agree with her. Lucas chuckles even though it may not be appropriate and takes the hair tie that's on her wrist. He pulls her hair back and ties it up neatly. "Better?" he asks close to her ear. She nods and he kisses right behind her earlobe.

"Luke . . ." she says softly. This part of the conversation she doesn't really want to have, but she knows it's the most important. "Why'd you get married?" she asks in a small voice.

He closes his eyes when he feels the burn of tears looming. He knew it was coming, but to hear her question it in such a broken voice . . . it breaks him down even more. "I don't really have a straight answer for you", he admits.

She looks up at him and smiles softly. "Try me."

He nods and lets out a breath. When he inhales again the smell of the ocean reminds him of all the other nights they were here. "I was still hurt and I was scared. Peyton, when you didn't want to marry me right away, I was crushed and I promised myself I wouldn't be put in that position again."

"Lucas, I told you I loved you. I kissed you and told you I should have said yes. You went home and proposed."

"I didn't mean to", he tells her. "When I got home, Lindsey had found the ring", she closes her eyes and a few tears trail down his cheeks. "I had every intention of telling her that it was over, but I was still so scared and before I really knew what I was doing, I was down on one knee", he whispers sadly.

"Oh God", she breathes out.

"Maybe a small part of me was trying to hurt you by going through with it", he admits for the first time ever. She tenses and he curses himself. "I'm just trying to be honest here", he whispers. She nods and then he says; "I never expected her to say yes. Lindsey's a smart girl; I figured she knew my second book was about you. Haley knew", he says with a slight chuckle. Peyton laughs too.

"Yeah, she told me about that. Right before I left she and I cleared the air on a couple of things."

Her mentioning the day she left reminds him of the hole in his heart that never quite filled. He looks down at the blonde in his arms and just stares at her. He's pretty sure that hole's filled now.

"There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't want to talk to you, or look at you or hold your hand", he whispers with emotion in his voice. "And I know that makes me a terrible man because I was married, but Peyton . . ." he has to stop and swallow past the lump in his throat. "You have a hold on me like nobody else ever will", he says in awe of their bond.

"I know", she whispers his earlier words and leans her back against his chest. "I know."

They sit like that in the silence. The sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore is the only noise to hit their ears. Everything's in the open now. They have no more skeletons and hidden feelings of anguish. That's almost scarier then hiding those feelings. They're both completely exposed and vulnerable and Peyton doesn't deal with vulnerable too well. But Lucas gives her a confidence in love that she hasn't felt with anyone else.

"I'm in love with you, Lucas", she finds herself whispering. "And that's a pretty big deal."

He remembers that night in Honey Grove, Texas. The prom that they crashed and the night he spent with Peyton is forever etched into his mind. So are the morning after and the angelic glow the sunlight cast upon her. He promised he loved her then and he meant it, but he doesn't say it now. She's nervous and doesn't really know why, but she needs to hear some kind of sentiment from him that lets her know where he's at.

"Let's go home", he whispers into her ear.

And she's never heard a sweeter phrase.

Moon pours through the ceiling tonight
Embraces us tight
Shows me we're right for each other
And as we lie here and let the world fade away
The sunrise tries to end it while we try to stay

They walk back into the house through his bedroom door and Peyton's eyelids are so heavy she's surprised she's able to walk. It's been an emotional set of hours and she's surprised she's made it. Sometimes the hardest things to do are the things you need the most. Her talk with Lucas definitely tops that list.

She plops down onto his comfortable bed; just needing to regain some energy. She leans her back against the pillows and closes her eyes; Lucas watches the whole thing with a smile. She looks so perfect and right in this moment. It's like they're finally free of the weight that's been on their shoulders.

He takes off his jacket and throws it onto his desk. He thinks back to her letters and something he said earlier and he walks to his closet. Peyton's eyes are still closed, but she hears his movements. He pushes past hangers and the other mindless crap on his shelves. And when his hand hits that solid box he grins.

"Here", he says as he places a cardboard box onto the bed. She opens her eyes and frowns at the interruption; she was very close to sleep. Peyton scoots over to it and furrows her brows.

"What is this?" she asks as she opens the medium sized box. She's met with pictures and a letter and a few unopened cd's. "Lucas why aren't these opened?" she asks as she picks them up and flips them over. Her heart stops. This is his box. The infamous box she learned of in high school. It's the box that's all about her; his Peyton Box.

"Like I said . . . there wasn't a day that I didn't think about you", he whispers and watches her eyes fill with more tears. He nervously stuffs his hands into his pockets. "They're all produced by Red Bedroom, I bought one whenever I saw one", he shrugs and Peyton looks at him with a small smile. She bashfully raises her hand and wipes at the lone tear that spills from her eye.

She didn't really need proof that he thought of her, but this almost makes everything seem worth it. The heartache and the longing. The pain and the suffering. It was all something they needed. They didn't understand it then and they may not understand it ever.

It was all part of a plan that was bigger then them.

She picks up some random magazine clippings and smiles briefly. "Small town dream becomes a big city reality", she reads the headline. Beneath it is a split picture of her in front of TRIC when she was 17 that she's sure either Brooke or Karen sent in and the other half is her outside of Red Bedroom Records in Los Angeles. There are a few other random articles in there and she can only smile.

"I was proud of you", he mumbles through a blush. "I am proud of you", he clarifies. She nods and bites her bottom lip. She's mulling over a question and for some reason she's nervous to ask it. Finally, she takes a breath and blurts out;

"Can stay the night?"

Lucas makes a noise that lets her know she didn't have to ask it. He nods his head and he pulls his t-shirt from his body. Peyton does the same and his eyes widen. "I just want some skin on skin contact", she says as innocently as he had a few days ago.

He smiles and pulls down the comforter while Peyton lifts the pillows. He meets her eyes and they both smile. "So, I guess this means you're my boyfriend huh?" she asks with a smirk on her lips. Lucas shrugs.

"I could be your boy-toy", he grins wolfishly and she giggles. She shakes her head and climbs into her side of the bed.

"I like boyfriend better", his grin softens into a sweet smile and he nods his head.

"Me too", he whispers. "I'm gonna run to the bathroom", he says while grabbing the flannel pants she wore earlier and leaving the room. Once he's gone Peyton buries herself into the pillows and squeals loudly. Life seems pretty great.

Her burst of excitement comes and goes and then sleep takes over once more. She rolls onto her side and closes her eyes. When Lucas walks back in he smiles and shuts the light off. He crawls into bed beside her and assumes she's already sleeping so he lies on his back and stares at the ceiling. This isn't good enough.

"Hey", he whispers in hopes of getting her attention. She rolls over to face him and pouts; she's on the very brink of sleep. "How about you move in", he says more then asks and she beams.

She smiles silently for a minute before she snaps back to reality. "I'd love that", she whispers and kisses him.

It's on complete impulse and throws Lucas off guard. It takes him a second, but eventually Lucas pulls her closer; they both feel the other person's rapid heartbeat. He moans into her mouth and once they break apart he kisses her forehead.

They can both silently agree that was the best kiss ever.

They're both breathless and their blood is rushing through their veins. She burrows into his arms and rests her nose against his bare chest. "Don't let me go, okay?" she whispers tiredly. On instinct he pulls her impossible close to him. He knows she means that sentence figuratively as much as she means it literally.

"I'll never let you go again, Blondie", he whispers and kisses the top of her head. As they close their eyes the sky turns an array of orange and pink and red and it feels right.

A new day begins and so does the rest of their lives.

The rest of my life can't compare to this night, whoa oh
And only the heartaches have given me sight, oh, oh
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah
They bring me to you, whoa oh
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah

Merely hours later Lucas, Peyton and their friends are standing in the airport waiting for the flight to Los Angeles to be called. Lucas had woken up before her this morning and announced they were moving her in a.s.a.p. There was no way she was going to disagree.

"So we shouldn't be gone for too long", Peyton says with a smile as she talks to Brooke and Haley. "We just need to pack up my things . . . I'm leaving all of the furniture mostly because I won't need it here –"

"Peyton!" Haley yells to stop her rambling. Her blonde friend blushes and Brooke pushes her playfully.

"You'll be gone for like a few days", the brunette says easily. "Then its Tree Hill for good!" she cheers with a grin. Peyton has to admit that that sounds amazing. Tree Hill – home – for good. She glances over and locks eyes with Lucas. He winks and she feels her heart flutter.

"Get a room", Haley mutters and Peyton blushes before rolling her eyes. Brooke laughs.

"They'll be on a plane for a few hours Tutor Mom", Brooke says and then her eyes light up with mischief. "You know, to pass the time, you could always join the club", she says with a grin.

"Brooke!" Peyton scolds and blushes once more. She looks to Haley for help, but the petite brunette simply shrugs.

"Nathan and I have traveled without Jamie before. It's gets a little boring", she says simply. Peyton opens her mouth, but before she can say anything Lucas and Nathan walk over with Jamie trailing behind them.

"What's with the pout?" she asks the small boy as he joins the girls. He looks up at her with his big doe eyes and juts out his bottom lip.

"Are you leaving again?" Peyton's heart breaks and she scoops him into his arms. He tugs on her curls and refuses to meet her eyes.

"I am leaving, but I'll be back in a few days", she promises and he nods his head slowly.

"Pinky swear?" he holds up his small pinky finger and Peyton smiles before locking it with her own.

"I promise you, Baby James", she says and swings their fingers back and forth. He kisses her cheek and wiggles to put be down. He grabs Brooke's hand and then Nathan steps forward. He pulls her into his arms and whispers into her ear.

"So, Haley wanted to get a start on spring cleaning. You wanna tell me why I found a painting in my closet?" her eyes widen and she feels herself blushing once more. She completely forgot about that incident during Christmas. He pulls back and looks at her knowingly. "It's alright, I blamed it on Jamie", they both laugh. "Make sure you come back to us", he says seriously. She nods and whispers that she will and then Lucas and Peyton's flight is called.

They walk off with their hands clasped and wave to their loved ones. As they walk Peyton leans her head on his shoulder and asks;

"What's your take on the mile-high club?"

He looks down at her and raises his brows in interest. "I've always wanted to become a member." She can only giggle.

After a few hours they're stepping into a cab with the humid air surrounding them. She routinely tells the driver the address for her recording studio and the rest of the ride is spent with Lucas and Peyton giggling softly about their adventures in the bathroom.

Lucas pays the driver and pulls their bags out of the car. Peyton walks into the building and Lucas trails behind her. She probably should wait, but she honestly can't wait to see Chelsea. Lucas huffs and puts the bags on the floor before wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her close.

"Thanks for the help", he mutters teasingly. She laughs and kisses him quickly.

"Sorry, I just really wanna see Chelsea", he watches as her eyes fill with excitement and then he nods before taking her hand and walking to her closed office door. She doesn't think anything of it; she basically told Chelsea this place was hers to run.

Lucas opens the door and quickly yells out; "My eyes!" his hand covers his blue eyes before he raised their intertwined hands to block Peyton's.

"Seriously! On my desk?" Peyton yells out from behind her obstructed eyes. Her former assistant and Chris Keller scramble to button their clothes and Chelsea straightens out her hair.

"It's not like you ever used it", she quips back. Peyton's mouth drops and she moves away from Lucas's hand. "And it's not your desk anymore", she adds.

"Bitch", she gasps playfully.

"Shrew", Chelsea says with ease. Both girls laugh before hugging fiercely. It's only been a few days since they've seen each other, but when you see someone everyday for over a year, you learn to savor every minute you have with them.

"What are you doing here?" Chris mumbles. Chelsea laughs and slaps his shoulder playfully.

"Be nice, Chris", she admonishes. Lucas smirks and looks at him pointedly. Peyton kinks an eyebrow and leans over to smack him.

"You be nice too", she reprimands the same way Chelsea had with Chris. She turns her attention back to her male friend and says; "I wanted to pick up a few things. Lucas and I are moving in together."

Chelsea gasps and hugs her again and Chris smiles softly. He's gotten over his crush for the curly blonde, but he imagines she'll always hold a piece of his heart. He wonders if she does that to every guy she meets.

"So, you're not coming back to LA?" Chris asks softly. Peyton looks at him and shakes her head.

"I don't really plan on it. Chelsea has this place under control and my home is in Tree Hill", she says simply. Chris nods, but they all see the dejected look on his face.

"Hey Lucas, why don't you come out there with me", Chelsea says while she grabs his arm and pulls him from the room.

"I'm gonna miss you", the musician whispers once the door is closed. Peyton nods and walks over to him.

"I've already been gone for a couple of months", she points out.

"I know, but I always kinda figured you were coming back", he says honestly. "I still kind of am", he teases and she smacks him before hugging him tightly.

"I'm gonna miss you too", she whispers when they break apart. Chris kisses the top of her head and they both hear laughter from outside.

"We got pretty lucky, didn't we?" Chris muses as he stares at the closed door. Peyton leans into him and nods.

"We certainly did."

Outside Chelsea tells Lucas about the night she met Chris's parents. It was pretty harmless until she walked in on his father in the bathroom; then it all went downhill. She had an allergic reaction to the pie his mother made and then she spilt wine all over their handmade table cloth.

"That sounds like a nightmare", Lucas says through a laugh. She nods and wipes the tears from her eyes.

"Oh it was", she assures him. Her eyes catch the pen on her desk that she still doesn't let anyone use. It's her 'Lucas' pen. Her mirth dies down and she looks at him seriously.

"You know, the first time you came in here I was completely enthralled by you . . . now you totally bore me", she says with a sigh. Lucas chuckles and to Chelsea's surprise – and hidden thrill – pulls her into his arms.

"Thank you for being there when she needed someone", he whispers. She hugs him back and nods against his shoulder.

"Thank you for coming to your senses", she whispers appreciatively.

"Alright squinty", Chris says as he walks out to the desk. They break apart and Peyton walks to Lucas's side. "You've got your own girl", blue meets blue and they both share a silent understanding. If Lucas ever hurts Peyton again, Chris will kill him, but Lucas doesn't plan on hurting her ever again.

"We should get going", Peyton says. "We've got a lot to pack up tomorrow", Lucas groans. "And the hotel to check into still", he groans again.

"Why aren't you staying in the brownstone?" Chelsea asks as she hands Peyton one of the smaller bags. The blonde shrugs.

"It would be kind of sad, I'd rather be there tomorrow to pack things then sleep there for the last time."

"Okay, well have a safe flight", Chris says as they all hug and shake hands.

"Call us . . . whenever", Chelsea says with a smile. The blondes walk away and before the elevator door closes they wave to their friends.

"They seem happier", Chelsea muses. Chris nods and wraps his arms around her.

"Maybe they finally found their peace."

It's all about the first night and last,
Some people say
Well I love you so much more tonight,
More than yesterday

"Fourth floor", the young man says as he hands Lucas the room key. Lucas smiles and thanks him; not bothering to look at the number on said key. He and Peyton walk hand-in-hand to the elevator and before the doors close she leans up to kiss him sweetly.

"What was that for?" he asks with a gruff voice. She shrugs and looks at him innocently.

"I just felt like kissing my boyfriend", he feels his heart soar at the sentiment and smirks. He pulls her flush against his body and savors the giggles that leave her perfect mouth. His lips plant onto hers and the second he gets the chance he slips his tongue inside.

"What was that for?" she asks breathlessly. He shrugs and looks down at her innocently.

"Just felt like showing my girlfriend a preview of the ravishing I have planned", he says simply and her mouth drops. The elevator dings and he gathers their bags once more. Peyton takes a breath and collects herself. She's sure she's blushing.

"And where are we staying for the night?" she asks as the leave the elevator. Lucas looks down and freezes. "Luke?" she asks in concern at the face he makes.

"I swear I didn't plan this", he mumbles while looking Peyton in the eyes. She kinks a brow in confusion and shakes her head.

"I don't know what you're talking about", she says as she takes the small card from him. She looks at the number and doesn't think anything of it. Peyton looks back at him and his face is still pale. She's more confused then ever, but she shakes her head and searches for their door.

She stops in front of room 425 and slides the card in. It beeps and the light turns from red to green. Without a second thought she pushes it open and then her heart leaps up into her throat. She hovers in the doorway and her eyes scan the all too familiar room. The chair is in the same spot and so is the floor lamp. She feels like she can't breathe. She knows Lucas is still behind her and she knows the bags he carries are heavy, but she can't move.

She's afraid to step in.

"Babe", Lucas whispers. She flinches and looks back at him. He hears her mumble an apology and she hesitantly steps in. He follows her movements cautiously. "Do you want me to see if we can get another room?"

"No", she says softly. "This is fine", he doesn't believe her for a second especially when she crosses her arms over her stomach and hugs herself closely. But he won't push her.

Lucas walks around the room with tentative steps. It's almost like he's afraid his heart will fall out at any moment and this room will swallow it whole. It's clear he didn't try to set this up. It hurts him just as much to be here.

Peyton looks at that damn leather chair in the corner and wants nothing more then to throw it out the window. Lucas looks at her and frowns. "Want me to put it somewhere else?"

She meets his eyes and shakes her head. "No, I'm sorry", she takes a deep breath, "I'm fine."

He nods and picks up their toiletry bags. He walks into the bathroom and places the small bags on the sink. He takes the moment he has alone to breathe deeply and stare at himself in the mirror. It's been a while since he's been here, but the last time he was he was a totally different person. He looks down at his left hand and lets out a breath. The tan line he had after he took off his wedding band has disappeared and he's grateful for it. Every inkling to the horrible person he used to be is gone.

Peyton looks around the room; unsure of what to do. Their bags are in the corner and Lucas seems to be taking care of everything. She's pretty much a zombie. There are only three places in the room to sit and even though they all hold painful memories, she plops down onto the foot of the bed.

It's weird to be here. Last time she was here she walked in happy and in love. When left devastated, but still in love. It still looks the same, she thinks. That crack in the ceiling is just as long as last time. She looks to her side and feels her eyes widen. That same picture hangs on the wall, the one that Nathan mentioned at the airport. Instead of bursting into tears like she expects herself to; something clicks.

"While I'm asleep I have this dream where . . . we're back in that hotel room in LA and you propose to me. Every single time I say yes."

Maybe this is all part of that plan that's bigger then them.

"Ask me again", she whispers suddenly. Lucas snaps his head around to stare at her. They lock eyes and he furrows his brows.

"What?" he asks breathlessly. His heart is pounding in his ears and he isn't sure he heard her right. He isn't sure he can handle having heard her wrong.

"Ask me again", she whispers slowly. She's sitting on the edge of the bed and he can see the rapid rise and fall of her chest. She's just as nervous as he is. He smiles in confusion and she raises an eyebrow expectantly. He walks over to her and kneels in front of her.

"Peyton I love you", he begins. He has to stop because his mouth is too dry to speak. She squeezes his hands and sits up a bit straighter.

"Yes!" Peyton shouts and then blushes while Lucas chuckles.

"I didn't even ask you yet", he teases. She shakes her head and he watches as her curls wobble with her movements.

"Sorry", she whispers. She grins and he can't stop the smile that forms. "Go ahead", she tells him seriously. He laughs again and asks;

"Are you sure? I mean you're not gonna interrupt me again?"

She laughs loudly and pushes against his chest playfully. "Stop it . . . I promise I won't."

He nods and takes her hand in his. He brushes his thumb across her knuckles and tears form in Peyton's eyes. He looks back up at Peyton and his eyes shine with the same unshed tears. Blue and green get completely lost in each other. Lucas opens his mouth and with a hoarse voice he speaks;

"Peyton, I love you and I know things haven't been easy, but you have been so strong. So strong and unwavering when I've strayed from us. I love you and I have always loved you and I will always love you. Peyton Sawyer, will you marry me?"

By the time he's done they both have tears streaming down their faces. Peyton stares at him and Lucas continues to wait for an answer. She squeezes his hand and nods her head.

"Yes!" she shouts. "Yes, I'll marry you!"

He grins widely and pulls her into his arms. He stands and she squeals as he spins them around and meets her lips for a passionate kiss. He stops moving and they simply stand in that once dreaded hotel room making new memories. They know it won't be always easy and there will be times when it's incredibly hard. But if it's one thing they've learned it's that they can overcome it together.

The rest of my life can't compare to this night, whoa oh
And only the heartaches have given me sight, oh, oh
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah
They bring me to you, whoa oh
They bring me to you, yeah, yeah


A/N:

Thank you so much for reading and reviewing. I don't think you understand how much it means to a writer; unless you are one. Taking the time out to write even the smallest comments means the world and I wouldn't have finished this if it weren't for you all . . . I would do individual thanks, but it's late and I'm incredibly tired. Just know that I know who all the devoted reviewers and readers are and I love you more then anything!

It's been a bumpy ride and I thank you all for sticking with me. This started out as nothing more then a one-shot and because of you all it became a story I'm really proud of. I'm sad to see it go, but I'm proud of the reception it's gotten. I hope you'll stick around to see more from me.

Thanks for reading and one last time let me know what you think!